To evaluate the effect of sildenafil, administered prior to renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), by scintigraphy and histopathological evaluation in rats. Twenty-four rats were divided randomly into two groups. They received 0.1 ml of 99mTechnetium-etilenodicisteine intravenous, and a baseline (initial) renal scintigraphy was performed. The rats underwent 60 minutes of ischemia by left renal artery clamping. The right kidney was not manipulated. The sildenafil group (n=12) received orally 1 mg/kg of sildenafil suspension 60 minutes before ischemia. Treatment with saline 0.9% in the control group (n=12). Half of the rats was assessed after 24 hours and half after seven days I/R, with new renal scintigraphy to study differential function. After euthanasia, kidneys were removed and subjected to histopathological examination. For statistical evaluation, Student t and Mann-Whitney tests were used. In the control group rats, the left kidneys had significant functional deficit, seven days after I/R, whose scintigraphic pattern was consistent with acute tubular necrosis, compared with the initial scintigraphy (p<0.05). Sildenafil treatment resulted in better differential function of the left kidneys 24h after reperfusion, compared with controls. Histopathologically, the left kidney of control rats (24 hours after I/R) showed a higher degree of cellular necrosis when compared with the sildenafil treated rats (p<0.05). Sildenafil had a protective effect in rat kidneys subjected to normothermic I/R, demonstrated by scintigraphy and histomorphometry.